I'm researching/writing an article about safety for the May/June issue of Children's Ministry Magazine. It's supposed to be a look at all the safety things we're doing in the church--and asking the question of where the line is when our safety precautions are too much--and have we crossed that line yet?
So, doing the research, I found a site where you can plug in your zip code and find ALL the registered offenders who live in your community. Click on the little boxes and you get a photo, address, and list of offenses. Oh my gosh! Talk about striking fear in my heart!
Then I went to WalMart right after--and, of course, thought I recognized some of the offenders pushing buggies around the store. Was that a leer? Where's my daughter? Wasn't that the guy? I had to shake off all my suspicions and try to see these people as people--not potential offenders.
Which makes me wonder...the more aware we become of statistics and offender profiles (who love to target unsuspecting child-serving organizations like the church), will the line of protection become tighter and tighter? And should it?
I'm conflicted. Guess I better keep digging!